The meet was organised by CUTS International in partnership with Rashtriya Grameen Vikas Nidhi (RGVN), Guwahati, SNV, Bhutan and Unnayan Shamannay, Dhaka. It was aimed at bringing together government agencies, regulators and private players, among others, which are engaged in the agriculture sector for best harnessing the agriculture value chain and its potential in the sub-region comprising NE India.
Szarita Laitphlang, vice chairperson, Meghalaya Resource and Employment Generation Council, said that Meghalaya and the North Eastern States as a whole have some unique products to offer to the world including turmeric with the highest curcumin (anti-cancer ingredient), ginger, other exotic fruits, among others, which have immense export potential.
However, it is lack of connectivity, coupled with lack of entrepreneurial skills at the producer level, that such potential has not been exploited to the extent possible, she said.
Sudhir Chandra Nath, Programme Head, Seed and Agro Enterprise, BRAC, Bangladesh, said that credit support, assured market linkages/procurement and skill development really helped to build sustainable value chains in Bangladesh.
Arindam Chaudhuri, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Assam, said APEDA has many schemes that can help build infrastructure towards facilitating a better supply chain and invited proposals from Department of Agriculture, Assam to that end.
Bimal Kumar Dubey, Director, Import, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), PK Ghosh, Assistant Director, Regional Plant Quarantine Office, Kolkata, Dipankar Biswas, Regional Officer, Animal Quarantine and Certification Service, Kolkata, Asit Kumar Kundu, Assistant General Manager, PRAN-RFL Group, Bangladesh, Jahnabi Phookan, Director, Assam Bengal Navigations, Asadul Amin, Managing Director, Premium Seeds, Bangladesh, Dorji Rinchen, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, Royal Government of Bhutan, Krishna Saikia, CEO, Greencover Overseas, KCS Kurup, General Manager, NERAMC, SK Das, SFAC, Guwahati, Amiya Sharma, Executive Director, RGVN and Prithviraj Nath, Head, CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre attended the programme.